Newspapers, once a dominant force in the media, continue to shrink. Tellingly, most of the mourning comes from the left.
In the 1950s, newspapers were king. They feared the threat of television news but never saw the Internet coming, which proved far more menacing.
The latest bad news is that newsroom employment has fallen 26 percent since 2008, according to the Pew Research Center.
Those shifting to online news have had some gains.
In other media, radio news has seen losses but TV news has been stable.
Locally, the most influential media was the Florida Times-Union. But its staff and circulation has shrunk to a tenth of its former size and it no longer has much relevance in Jacksonville.
Arguably, local citizens get more useful information from publications they receive free, such as The Resident, which is published in Riverside, Avondale, Ortega and Murray Hill. It contains detailed, well-written stories about events in those areas, and avoids the dull, predictable, left-wing commentary that has helped bring down the Times-Union.
Another competitor that is winning is the Daily Record, which is business oriented and eschews opinion.
The decline in newspaper offices probably would be even higher if the industry had not gotten an infusion of federal government money. Socialists piling record debts and taxes did not overlook their propaganda arm.
In the 1950s, most reporters and editors focused on finding information of interest to readers and delivering it to them impartially. In the early 1970s, the accolades showered on Woodward and Bernstein during the Watergate affair caused many to become “investigative reporters” out to get the scalps of politicians, and especially conservative politicians.
The Times-Union, after being conservative in its opinion pages and objective in its news columns for 150 years, suddenly was gobbled up by a left-wing conglomerate a few years ago and became all liberal, all the time. Revenue and readership dipped accordingly.